The journey atop my head reflects an internal change. Follow me in reflecting the irony of growth amidst an act of cutting away.
After having worn my hair long and lady-like all my life, I decided it was time for a cut. My waist-length locks were chopped and donated in 2007. While I wanted to let go and give away for a cause, I was left sitting in a black salon chair gripping the armrests in horror. “I look like my mother!” I thought. While I vowed to never crop my coif again, in 2010 a bolder move was made.
Britain’s famed hair stylist of HOB Salon chose me as his model for a modern-day “stack”. Backstage, after a hair wash and wardrobe change, I stood with shaking knees, anticipating a cut on a stage sans mirror. With each snip handfuls of hair fell to the floor. After seeing the pile of brown curls and a new face in the mirror, I was in shock. “Smile,” was all I could say to myself as I looked into a hand-held mirror in front of the audience. “Run and don’t cry,” continued the self-talk while I walked backstage. Out the door and down the streets of London, I felt exposed and indifferent. “Alriiight”, said a passerby with interest. “Gah”! don’t look at me!” was my internal response. The stylist was right: “You stand out by either having long hair or very short hair,” he told me.
Once I realized the person beneath the new do was me, I began to befriend short hair and wore it with confidence. Back in the states I hair modeled for Vidal Sassoon and shortened my hair to a near-pixie length. That same day, I ran straight into Greenlake with my running gear on a chilly spring day. Correlated circumstances? Yes, I think so.
My hair grew over the summer spent in Martha’s Vineyard, and upon my return, I started to mold the grow-out into a bob (again with the intent to grow it back out). May of 2011 I was asked to model for Gene Juarez’ 40th Anniversary fashion show. Snips and dips were made to channel an inner Jane Fonda. The downtown Gene Juarez team created a collection of 1970’s models to walk down the runway in dynamic disco style. I struck the runway with powerful strides in hopes to portray Fonda—a bold model, actress, fitness guru, and political activist.
A few other opportunities arose to model for Gene Juarez. A short bob was cut in remembrance of 1920′s actress Louise Brooks and a month later sides shaved & a wig shaped to make brilliant a shoot inspired by Alexander McQueen. The adventures continued.
“Do blondes really have more fun?” I asked myself. I was excited to find out. Blonde I became! With the platinum head, I chose to go shorter than I ever had before. An addiction you would call this. The cutting of my hair was an avenue to find a freedom of expression—a way of “letting go”.
To let go is to feel fully, to live life, to cut away the strings that hold you down–the threads that snag and distract and deflect from the brilliant tapestry of your life. I chose to let go of my hair–with it insecurities that catch and trip me along my journey. As my mirror reminds me each day, “Do What You Wish.”–a quote taken from a childhood book The Neverending Story (by Michael Ende).
In the book the protagonist Bastian is told that “whatever comes your way you must never interfere, because from this moment on your own opinion ceases to count. For that same reason you must go unarmed. You must let what happens happen. ”What do you suppose it means?” he asked. “‘DO WHAT YOU WISH.’ That must mean I can do anything I feel like. Don’t you think so?” He is scolded. ”No..It means that you must do what you really and truly want. And nothing is more difficult…It’s your own deepest secret and you yourself don’t know it.”
There are many doors to Fantastica *[your destiny]. There are other such magical books [other stories of this spiritual journey]. A lot of people read them without noticing. It all depends on who lays hands on the book.
Along this jourey of growth and change, it is important to realize your important place on this earth. Listen to your heart, your soul. Keep your eyes wide open and SEE MORE out of life. With my hair removed from in front of my eyes, I report in raw form. May the adventures continue!
*my own translations